Costing the Earth-logo

Costing the Earth

BBC

Fresh ideas from the sharpest minds working toward a cleaner, greener planet

Fresh ideas from the sharpest minds working toward a cleaner, greener planet
More Information

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Fresh ideas from the sharpest minds working toward a cleaner, greener planet

Language:

English


Episodes

Carbon Free Islands

10/8/2019
More
Orkney's strong winds and powerful tides have attracted renewable energy pioneers for decades. For much of the year the islands produce more energy than they can use. Turbines are shut down and green energy goes to waste. The UK government has spotted an opportunity, funding the REFLEX project which aims to use that excess energy to develop new ways to power a community. Tom Heap visits Orkney to see how hydrogen storage, huge batteries and electric ferries and cars can be lashed together...

Duration:00:27:57

The e-DNA Revolution

10/1/2019
More
From the Loch Ness Monster and mammoths to the Amazon river and uncharted river flies - 'environmental DNA' is revolutionising how we tell what species are present in a certain landscape. Traces of skin, mucus or gametes can be left by creatures in their environment and scientists can use samples from the water, air or soil and sequence the DNA found within to test for a specific species or to get a broader picture of what is there. It can help monitor for invasive species and even look back...

Duration:00:29:41

Ghost Fishing

9/24/2019
More
Plastic nets and equipment left in the ocean by fishing boats is estimated to make up over 10% of marine rubbish and in the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' over 40% of the accumulated plastic is lost fishing gear. Even worse these plastic 'ghost nets' can go on catching fish and attracting other wildlife which then become entangled too. Often these nets are very old and once they finally do start to degrade they add to the problem of 'microplastics' which are ingested by sea creatures. It's a...

Duration:00:28:05

Fire in the Amazon

9/20/2019
More
How can we prevent a repeat of the devastating fires in the Amazon? Tom Heap and Lucy Siegle search for solutions. Producer: Emma Campbell

Duration:00:27:44

Verity's Wild Garden

9/11/2019
More
Verity Sharp wants to turn her small garden into a haven for wildlife. She's inspired by the Rewilding movement, but her neighbours aren't too keen on wolves in Wiltshire. Inspired by the work being done at Knepp Castle Estate in West Sussex, Verity loves the idea of abandoning the lawn mower and letting nature take control. But will her abandoned garden turn into a natural paradise or an embarrassing mess that lowers the tone of the neighbourhood? Verity calls on the author of 'Wilding',...

Duration:00:27:45

Insect Extinction?

5/28/2019
More
Insects are the most varied and abundant animals outweighing humanity by 17 times, yet they are in decline in many parts of the world. Insects have been called the ‘glue’ in nature and are essential for the proper functioning of all ecosystems as pollinators, food for other animals, and recyclers of nutrients. This month the United Nations IPBES report said insect abundance has declined very rapidly in some places, and the available evidence supports a “tentative” estimate that 10% of the...

Duration:00:28:16

Indian Impact

5/21/2019
More
As India votes Navin Singh Khadka travels the sub-continent to find out if environmental issues are rising up the agenda. Amongst nations India is the third highest emitter of carbon dioxide. Its rapid pace of development is pushing emissions higher and worsening air quality. The BBC World Service Environment Correspondent visits the energy capital of India to find out if that link between development and environmental damage can be broken. Producer: Alasdair Cross

Duration:00:26:56

Eco Anxiety

5/14/2019
More
Is the future of the planet making you depressed? Do you feel paralysed, unable to imagine the happiness of future generations? As global governments fail to respond to the existential crisis of climate change it’s understandable that some people seem unable to conjure up a sense of hope, understandable that dozens of young British women have joined the Birthstrike movement, refusing to bring more children into the world. Verity Sharp meets the eco-anxious and asks if they are ill or simply...

Duration:00:27:30

The State of Nature

5/7/2019
More
A detailed snapshot of Earth's natural life is published this week. How sick is the planet and what can we do to reverse the damage? Tom Heap hosts a debate on the vital findings of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Tom is joined by Sir Robert Watson, Chair of the IBPES, by the writer and broadcaster Gaia Vince and by Erica McAlister, insect specialist at the Natural History Museum. Producer: Alasdair Cross

Duration:00:28:27

The Youth Are Revolting

4/30/2019
More
Greta Thunberg and the global youth strikes for the climate have directed the worlds attention to the potential future they face on a warming planet. The words and actions of these young people have been noted by global leaders and promises of change have been made but for their efforts to have a lasting impact the promises need to become policy. Tom Heap asks one of the young organisers Tom Bedford if young people are really changing the narrative on climate change. The strikers' demands...

Duration:00:28:07

The Environment after Brexit

4/16/2019
More
Where does Brexit leave the UK countryside? Tom Heap hosts a studio debate. On the panel: Shaun Spiers from the environmental think-tank, the Green Alliance; Heather Hancock, director of rural-based consultancy 'Rural Solutions', chair of the Food Standards Agency, and former chief executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Patrick Holden, founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust,. Producer: Emma Campbell

Duration:00:27:48

The Wolf is Back!

4/9/2019
More
Wolves were hunted out of many European countries over a century ago. In recent years they've been migrating back naturally and have now reached every country in continental Europe. Not everyone is happy - while their preferred food source is said to be deer and wild boar the killing of sheep and goats has angered many farmers. Tom Heap travels to the French Alps, meeting farmers to see if its possible to rear livestock alongside a wolf population and hears about projects to help - including...

Duration:00:27:55

Fast Fashion Slow Down

4/3/2019
More
Fast fashion is responsible for more emissions than shipping and aviation combined and by 2050 could account for a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. Consumers have been informed about the ethical alternatives but whilst sales of more sustainably sourced clothes are increasing, the biggest success of 2018 was a fast fashion brand which often sells dresses for less than the cost of their postage. After grilling the fashion industry, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has...

Duration:00:27:49

Dash from Gas

4/2/2019
More
Around 90% of homes in Britain get their hot water and heating from gas-fired boilers. There are 23 million of them in Britain. The Chancellor has banned them from new homes after 2025 and by 2050 they'll be history. The government is committed to phasing them out to meet international climate change commitments. So what are the alternatives to the gas that's provided reliable, reasonably priced heat since it was first piped ashore from the North Sea in the late 1960s? Electric heating is a...

Duration:00:27:56

Clean Air for Kids

3/19/2019
More
Clean air - the fightback: Tom Heap investigates the problems caused by air pollution, and asks how it affects children's health. He visits schools in Manchester and London and finds out about new initiatives which hope to try to reduce pollution around school sites. Produced by Emma Campbell

Duration:00:27:50

Tread Lightly

3/12/2019
More
Tyres have an enormous impact on the environment. What can be done to produce and dispose of them more efficiently? Tom Heap reports. Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock

Duration:00:27:45

Hit the Gas!

3/5/2019
More
From the cattle shed to the racetrack, ammonia is having a moment. In the wrong place it's a dangerous pollutant, in the right place it's a clean fuel for your car. Ella McSweeney and Peter Hadfield report on the two faces of the gas chemists know as NH3. The increasing global demand for milk means more big dairy herds. More cows means more dung and urine. Mixed together they produce ammonia gas which contributes to urban air pollution and destroys sensitive habitats. In Ireland scientists...

Duration:00:28:04

The Future of Our National Parks

12/5/2018
More
2019 is the 70th anniversary of the legislation that created the first National Parks in the UK. At this crucial moment for the future of our countryside, Tom Heap asks how our best-loved landscapes can work better for people and wildlife. There are now 15 National Parks – all are protected areas because of their beautiful countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage. However, much has changed since the original legislation and many of these landscapes face significant challenges, including...

Duration:00:28:15

Heat from the Deep

11/27/2018
More
The heat contained in the top 3km of the Earth’s crust could power the planet thousands of times over. Despite that, less than 1% of the world’s electricity comes from geothermal energy. That may be about to change. Near Redruth in Cornwall a 3 mile deep hole is being dug- it will be the deepest in the UK. Cold water will be pumped down to the 200 degrees hot rocks below, the hot water returning will drive turbines to provide electricity for thousands of homes. Nearby, the Eden Project and...

Duration:00:28:32

Art and the Environment

11/20/2018
More
Climate change is hard to depict. Polar bears on melting ice caps are far away from everyday life and the data is often complex and confusing. So could art in its broadest sense help us to understand the implications of global warming and environmental degradation? Tom Heap takes a look at how the creative community is responding to what is arguably the biggest threat of our time and asks if art can succeed in eliciting a response where science has failed. Music and visual arts which make...

Duration:00:27:35